The Joint Commission, American Nurses Association co-publish new edition of book on nurses’ role in preventing sentinel events

Wednesday, January 09 2019

Workplace violence in health care settings among new content featured
Media Contact:
Maureen Lyons
Corporate Communications 
(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, January 8, 2019) – The Joint Commission and the American Nurses Association (ANA) have collaborated on a new, third edition of Front Line of Defense: The Role of Nurses in Preventing Sentinel Events — providing nurses at all levels with in-depth information, guidance and strategies for identifying and preventing sentinel events across health care settings.
Sentinel events are adverse health care events that reach a patient and result in patient death, permanent harm, severe temporary harm or intervention required to sustain life. Such events are called "sentinel" because they signal the need for immediate investigation and response.
Using data from The Joint Commission's Sentinel Event Database, Front Line of Defense identifies the root causes of common sentinel events within the systems and processes of any health care environment, with practical guidance on steps all nurses can take to identify and help prevent such events. 
A new chapter focuses on the effect of workplace violence on nurses and strategies to mitigate and prevent such violence. Other new content incorporates discussion of health information technology and electronic medical record keeping. Book chapters explore the nursing role in preventing:
  • Surgical errors 
  • Medication errors 
  • Patient falls 
  • Healthcare-associated infections 
  • Patient suicide 
  • Maternal and perinatal injury and death
  • Physical and verbal violence
Latest data reported to The Joint Commission about common sentinel events, including contributing factors and root cause analyses, are featured, along with updated sentinel event examples and prevention strategies that enable nurses to further improve patient safety in their organizations. Relevant Joint Commission accreditation standards and National Patient Safety Goals, and how they relate to nurses’ daily work, are covered. 
In the book’s foreword, Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer for Accreditation and Certification Operations and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission writes: “Since the second edition of Front Line of Defense: The Role of Nurses in Preventing Sentinel Events was published in 2007, a lot has changed in health care in general and in the nursing profession in particular. With increased focus on patient safety, zero harm, and advanced education, much more is asked of nurses beyond providing direct care.”
ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, also writes in her foreword: “As critical members of today’s interprofessional teams, nurses have a unique, essential role in patient safety. ANA and The Joint Commission believe that this new book will keep nurses everywhere the most up-to-date on the evidence around how to prevent surgical errors, medication errors, falls, and other sentinel events.”
The book, published by Joint Commission Resources (JCR), Inc. is available for purchase on the JCR website.
About Joint Commission Resources, Inc. 
Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (JCR), a wholly controlled, nonprofit affiliate of The Joint Commission, is the official publisher and educator of The Joint Commission. JCR is an expert resource for health care organizations, providing consulting services, educational services, and publications and software, to assist in improving safety and quality and to help in meeting the accreditation standards of The Joint Commission. JCR provides consulting services independently from The Joint Commission and in a fully confidential manner. Visit for more information.

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